Matt Pryor is a Songwriter

Matt Pryor is one of those guys whose voice has soundtracked my life. He fronted one of my all-time favourite bands, The Get Up Kids, and has gone on to record more amazing music with projects such as The New Amsterdams and more recently under his own name. He even spent a few years making kids music with The Terrible Twos. More recently, his podcast Nothing to Write Home About has filled many a work day and his song commissioning venture with Downwrite provided me with the best anniversary present I could ever pull off. Thanks to the connectivity of social media and Matt being such an open guy, I was able to get a bit of an insight into the mind of the dad of Lily, Elliott and Jerzy. That was despite being on the road doing gigs for The Get Up Kids 20th Anniversary Tour. He’s a Podcaster, Songwriter and Father.

Meet Matt.
— Lach
"Don't be a dick to people, stand up for what you believe in and maintain a healthy DIY work ethic." Matt Pryor

"Don't be a dick to people, stand up for what you believe in and maintain a healthy DIY work ethic." Matt Pryor

Your first reaction when you found out you were going to be a Dad? 

I was stoked.

How was the experience of the birth from your perspective as an on-looker?

I was scared all three times.  The first one was the roughest as the hospital ignored the birth plan, and there were lots of complications.  It was rough.

What Fatherhood has taught you?

Patience.

What is the most challenging part of being a Father so far?

Currently, it's letting them have independence.  It was much easier when we could make all their decisions for them.

What is the most rewarding part of becoming a Father?

Watching them grow up and become cool people. They can stand up for themselves, it makes my life hell but it will serve them well!

What was your life like before you were a Father? 

I got a lot more sleep.

What did having kids make you think differently about?

Again with patience.  I'm a control freak and I had to let a lot of that go.

The Get Up Kids are an amazing band- do you see them as your defining life's work or is that an ongoing pursuit as a musician?

It's what I'm most known for but to say that my defining life's work was done in my 20s would be sad.

How do you fit songwriting, recording and touring around family life? 

It requires and lot of scheduling and a decent amount of discipline.

Do you find your songwriting influenced directly by family life?

Not really, other than there is less time to do it.

You’ve got a strong punk rock ethos- what elements of that do you try to pass onto your kids?

Don't be a dick to people, stand up for what you believe in and maintain a healthy DIY work ethic.

How much of a role does music play in your household? 

Pretty big.  My kids all play. They all play piano, the older ones play guitar and the youngest is starting drums.  My daughter is really into Neko Case and the boys like video game songs right now ... Oh, and Manchester Orchestra.

As someone who is required to be away from their family often for work, how do you handle life on the road?

The kids and I text.  I try to stay positive.  I don't travel unless it's for a good reason.

Tell us about how your podcast ‘Nothing to Write Home About’ came about?

I was listening to some other podcasts and thought "I can do that!" - so I did.

With things like the podcast, your custom Downwrite song service (which I was a customer of for a recent anniversary- the wife loved it!) and a recent run of shows from your living room with StageIt - you seem to be innovative and open to trying new things in finding an audience. What’s your take on the pros and cons of the internet for creatives/musicians?

I think, overall, it's positive.  I don't like to tour so I have to be creative or get a real job.  I think the trick is to try and keep the quality high as possible.

What elements from your childhood do you want to pass onto your kids?

I hated my childhood.  So, hopefully nothing.

What are your strongest memories of your Dad?

That he wasn't there.

Do you think he did a good job? 

He taught me what not to do.

What was the best thing he ever taught you?

How to drive I guess, I don't know.

As a father, what do you see your biggest challenge ahead?

Teenagers!

What are the key things you want or hope for, for your kids?

That they are happy.

What do you think is the most important thing every Dad should aim to achieve?

Happiness and openness with their kids.

MORE

Get Matt to write a song for you (like I did!)
Follow Matt on Instagram or Twitter
Check out the fantastic podcast, all Matt's music and more via his website
Buy any album from The Get Up Kids and thank me later
Catch The Get Up Kids LIVE across pockets of the USA in December

* IMAGE CREDITS (with thanks internet!)
Matt Portrait by www.joseph-william.com
http://iheartlocalmusic.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/eDSC095811.jpg
https://www.flickr.com/photos/threadless365/11178154173
http://www.enemy.at/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/IMG_5779.jpg
https://www.flickr.com/photos/stevelouie/2769000320/sizes/l/
http://www.saladdaysmag.com/the-get-up-kids-circolo-magnolia-milano-recap/